Score: Oral Roberts 8 – Little Rock 3
Records: ORU (3-0) – LR (0-3)
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (J.L. Johnson Stadium)
TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts baseball team scored early in an 8-3 win over Little Rock Sunday afternoon securing an opening-weekend sweep at J.L. Johnson Stadium.
Noah Cummings hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and the Golden Eagles broke the game open in the fourth plating four runs on four singles, three walks and a hit batter. Nick Rotola added a long ball in the seventh inning as ORU out-hit the visitors 13-7 for its first 3-0 start since 2009.
Starting pitcher Miguel Ausua got off to a rocky start in his Golden Eagle debut, allowing a home run to Trojans' lead-off hitter Bryce Dimitroff before plunking the next batter. The junior transfer settled in from there and took advantage of stellar defense behind him to record the win, giving up two runs in five innings of work.
The bullpen closed the door on any comeback bid as Grant Glaze, Trevor McCutchin, Spencer Henson and Ryan McCollough combined to pitch the final four innings of two-hit baseball. McCollough entered in the ninth with the bases loaded and the potential tying run on deck and struck out the lone batter he faced earning the save.
Quote of the Game
"I thought our experience was the key to the weekend. We got down early again, but I like the way we responded and got more good work out of the bullpen. I thought Miguel's one inning where he had the bases loaded with nobody out and was able to only give up one run; I thought that was huge. Nick makes a great play in center field and (Miguel) punches the next guy out. I thought that was a big statement for him." – Head Coach Ryan Folmar
After allowing a home run to the first batter of the game, ORU immediately answered the bell in the bottom half of the first. With two outs, Matt Whatley singled up the middle and Cummings used one swing of the bat to give the Golden Eagles command for the rest of the game. The junior blasted a 1-0 pitch deep into the trees behind left field's fence for his first home run of 2017.
Inside the Box Score
- After being held without a hit, but drawing four walks, in the opening two games of the series, Whatley tallied his first hit of the season in the first inning and added two more singles on the afternoon.
-Whatley and Michael Hungate provided 3-for-5 performances for the Golden Eagles, while Rotola and Cummings added multi-hit efforts. Cummings led the way with three RBI and Rotola finished the game with two.
- ORU's defense stole the show coming up with impressive plays across the diamond all weekend and did not commit and error in the three-game set. Nick Roark and Rotola provided highlight-reel diving stops with Rotola doubling off a Little Rock runner on the play.
- Seven different players recorded a hit for the Golden Eagles in the victory and all nine that saw time at the plate reached base safely, totaling eight hits and six walks.
ORU closes its season-opening, four-game homestand Tuesday afternoon when the Bears of Missouri State come to J.L. Johnson Stadium for a 3 p.m. tilt. Don't miss a pitch with live video and stats available at www.oruathletics.com.
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